Sustainability Analysis of a Leakage-Monitoring Technique for Water Pipeline Networks

Sepideh Yazdekhasti, Kalyan R. Piratla, Jacob Sorber, Sez Atamturktur, Abdul Khan, Harshit Shukla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Water infrastructure plays a crucial role in delivering freshwater for survival and economic prosperity of communities. Regrettably, drinking water pipeline infrastructures in the US and many other developed and developing countries are in a deteriorated state becoming increasingly prone to leakages, which are estimated to be ≥20%. Although several sensor-based leakage-monitoring systems already have been developed to address this pressing challenge, the sustainability of such monitoring systems was never cross-checked, especially in the context of monitoring large-scale water-distribution systems. This paper thoroughly studies the life-cycle aspects of a vibration-based leak-detection technique, namely leak-detection index (LDI), accounting for its cost and energy consumption. The capabilities of this new technique have been demonstrated previously through an experimental campaign. In this paper, a follow-up sustainability evaluation is conducted after conceptual prototypes are developed for the real-world deployment of this new leakage-monitoring system. Batteries and solar panels are considered options for power supply. A representative water distribution network is used for estimating the life-cycle cost and energy consumption of leakage monitoring using the proposed prototypes. The sensitivity of cost and energy consumption to data sampling rate, data transmission rate, and sensor spacing are also evaluated in this study. The results presented in this paper will be of interest to researchers working on sensor-based monitoring systems for water infrastructures and to water utility managers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number04019052
JournalJournal of Pipeline Systems Engineering and Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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